By Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor

A section that refers to drinking water treatment units (DWTUs) has been included in a proposal recently announced1 by Health Canada regarding revisions to the country’s Health Protection Act.

Constance Wrigley-Thomas, manager of the Canadian Water Quality Association (CWQA) said this was not related to earlier national legislation such as Bill C-14 that would have restricted DWTUs severely, it was believed.

In Canada, DWTUs have not been regarded as a product unto themselves. The new legislation seeks to provide some definition in this area and offer guidelines: “The Act would apply to the production of bottled water and water served on passenger conveyances. It would also apply to drinking water materials such as treatment devices and additives and system components.”2 With regard to DWTUs, the document goes on to say, “Although standards do exist for these products, their application is voluntary, and compliance levels vary.”

Wrigley-Thomas said this is not necessarily a bad thing because a consultative process with industry has been integrated into the plan that allows constructive input from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as industry associations like CWQA. As such, it could offer a chance to establish something more favorable than earlier legislative efforts. She said CWQA will participate, since it “may be an opportunity as opposed to a threat.”

“I have done just a brief review of the proposal and I believe that there may be an opportunity for CWQA to participate in the consultation process to ensure that the final revision (i.e. the section that affects our industry and members) to the Act is fair, equitable and driven by industry values,” said Wrigley-Thomas.

Further details on this proposal and how you can participate in the consultations, can be found at the Ministry of Health’s website.3 For more information, contact Wrigley-Thomas at: (416) 695-3068, (416) 695-2945 (fax), email: [email protected] or website:


  1. “Minister announces public consultations on a proposal for a new Canada Health Protection Act,” News Release, Health Canada, June 9, 2003.
  2. “B12-Water,” Health Canada.
  3. “Health and Safety First! A Proposal to Renew Federal Health Legislation,” Health Canada:

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